Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Roland Boschi
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
“Winter Soldier: The Bitter March, Part 1”
The year is 1966 and in the shadow of the Cold War, Hydra tries to put some sinister plans into motion. S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be the only organization that knows of their plans and has any chance of stopping them. However there’s a third entity in this secret war, a man so deadly and elusive he has become a legend, this man is none other than the Winter Soldier.
Ups: Everything about this comic embodies the classic cold war espionage genre. The art uses bold line-work and a muted pallet to highlight movement and posture, which makes the action feel more direct and intense. The characters are all larger than life, from the cocky, suave S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to the almost comically insane Hydra agents. As a spy story, the issue was full of cool gadgets, deadly fight scenes, and some good ‘ol fashioned charm and deception.
Downs: Outside of one or two things there’s no indication of a larger plot. While the ending of this issue was exciting and raised a few questions it wasn’t really a cliffhanger, and it’s not easy to infer what the next issue or the rest of the series will be about. With a series that tries to embody the Cold War spy genre I was hoping for a little more intrigue and suspense.
Overall: This issue immediately introduces the reader to the two main characters (one most fans will recognize, the other is new) and puts them into a dangerous situation full of all the great staples of any good spy story. The issue may not have delivered the kind of suspense I was hoping for but this first issue proved that the characters are being written well and there’s plenty of potential for action and excitement as the book continues. I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of this series and seeing how the mythos of the Winter Soldier will expand.
Grade: 4 of 5